It seems like every time I go to a function related to sun protection products or skin cancer prevention, I learn very simple tips from dermatologists that make a lot of sense--and could save women a lot of money on anti-aging treatments.
One dermatologist's tip for younger looking skin is...
Are you intrigued?
And another's tip for preventing age spots is...
OK, I'll tell you.
In both cases the answers amounted to simply avoiding excessive sun exposure and using sunscreen. This article gives you the reasons why:
To lighten and fade existing spots, there is an ingredient that has received a lot of attention thanks to Dr. Oz. It's bearberry extract, which contains beta-arbutin and is being called a safe and natural alternative to hydroquinone. But does it work? Read Bearberry for Dark Spots for more information.
Earlier in the month New York State passed a bill banning microbeads from cosmetics. Microbeads are tiny plastic beads used in over 100 personal care products. In facial and body scrubs, microbeads are used to provide gentler exfoliation than say, walnut shells or apricot seeds, which can cause tiny tears on the skin. They are also a cheaper alternative to other, more natural, exfoliants.
Since microbeads are plastic, they aren't biodegradable. So while microbeads might be safer for the skin, they are bad for the environment, specifically our waterways.
Learn why in Are Microbeads in Cosmetics Harmful?
- What Is Physical Exfoliation?
- Are You Over-Exfoliating Your Skin?
- 4 Non-Toxic Body Scrubs
- Lotus Moon Exfoliating Cleansers
- 4 Exfoliating Powders for Radiant Skin
Photo: Steve Mason/Stockbyte (Getty Images)
I was on the way to a dinner with La Roche-Posay and the Women's Dermatologic Society. The event was held to discuss the importance of sun protection for skin of color. According to studies, 65% of people with skin of color feel they are not at risk for skin cancer. Many people of color don't even use sunscreen.
On the ride in, my driver asked me what the event was for and after I answered, he told me, "I don't use sunscreen." When I explained the dangers of being exposed to too much UV radiation, he was not convinced. He is from Africa (Morocco), he informed me, and they "are more used to the sun."
While the sun might be more intense in certain parts of the world and at certain times of the year, we can all equally burn and get skin cancer from prolonged exposure. The sun does not discriminate. While people of color have more melanin in the skin, which offers more sun protection than say, Caucasians or people with paler skin, it is not enough. We still need to use sunscreen.
During the dinner, Dr. Valerie Callender, dermatologist and medical director of Callender Dermatology and Cosmetic Center and the Women's Dermatologic Society's newly appointed president, said that your face, neck and décolleté should be the same color. If it's not, it's a sign that you're either not using sunscreen or not applying enough. Another interesting thing that she told us, is that if you regularly use sunscreen you won't need to use lightening agents for age spots, skin discolorations and hyperpigmentation (especially questionable ingredients like hydroquinone), since sun exposure is often the cause of dark marks and patches on the skin.
To learn how to do a self skin check and choose the right sun protection, visit SOSSaveOurSkin.com.
- Sun Safety for Women of Color
- Hydroquinone: Does It Harm Skin of Color?
- How to Remove and Prevent Age Spots
Dermatologist Dr. Valerie Callender/Photo: Callender Dermatology and Cosmetic Center
Back in April, I spoke with yoga instructor Brenda Blanco at Organic Spa Magazine's second annual Organic Beauty & Lifestyle media event. Brenda is also a SheaMoisture brand ambassador, combining two of my favorite things--yoga and SheaMoisture products.
Brenda was at the SheaMoisture booth showing guests how to massage marma points on the face. While it doesn't remove fine lines, it helps you relax your facial muscles, softening the appearance of the face.
You're probably wondering: What Is Marma?
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OK, I admit that I like to think of massage as a cure for almost anything that ails you. I'll use any excuse to get a good massage. But it actually turns out that massage can help with the healing process of scars.
The best way to keep your skin scar free is to make sure you take care of wounds and burns immediately. Learn how preventative care and massage help in Rx for Skin of Color.
More Scar Prevention Tips
Entertainment Tonight is calling her the "next celebrity obsession." And she's getting obvious comparisons to Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong'o:
- Lovely woman of color - check .
- Beautiful red carpet designer gowns - check.
- Difficult to pronounce African name - check.
- Breakout role in a film about slavery - check.
- Enviously gorgeous skin - check.
I'm talking about Gugu Mbatha-Raw of course. Gugu has the lead role in the film Belle, which will be in theaters May 2.
For her recent appearance on the red carpet for the New York premiere of Belle, Gugu Mbatha-Raw's skin was flawless and glowing and you can find out how celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose (who has also done Lupita Nyong'o's makeup - check) achieved the look using one of my favorite skin care product lines - Juara. Read more about How to Get Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Glowing Skin.
- Juara Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask
- Juara Therapeutic Body Rituals: 3 Exotic Products to Try
- Lupita Nyong'o: Best Red Carpet Makeup Looks
Photo: Ilya S. Savenok (Getty Images)
When I was growing up, I remember that my dad did a lot of work around the house, in the garage and in the yard and sometimes he'd end up with a few minor cuts and scrapes. One time he showed me a simple scratch that he got on his hand. It had developed into a raised scar that sort of looked like a little shiny worm.
"I wonder why that happens?" he asked. I hadn't a clue back then, but now I know it was a keloid, a raised scar that heals with excess scar tissue and can sometimes look unsightly. Keloids tend to run in families and it's yet another thing that skin of color is vulnerable to. But there are steps you can take to try to prevent them--and it takes extra special care.
Continue reading to find out how to minimize and prevent keloid scars.
Remedies for Keloid Scars/Photo: Ryan McVay/Photodisc (Getty Images)
Hair removal hasn't been a big concern of mine. I don't think I've ever had to shave my legs. With the exception of the underarm area, I don't experience a lot of body hair growth. Turns out that may be a good thing and not just because our country seems to value hairless bodies (at least for women.)
For many women of color, simple hair removal methods, especially shaving, can pose a number of skin problems because of our hair texture and skin tone. This simple practice can cause ingrown hairs, which at the least can lead to skin irritation or at the most inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
Find out more about the different temporary hair removal methods and how they can affect your skin in A Guide to Hair Removal for Women of Color.
Photo: Steve Mason/Photodisc (Getty Images)
While watching The Wendy Williams Show, I found out that earlier this morning People magazine announced that Lupita Nyong'o has been chosen as their "Most Beautiful" person of the year.
Lupita is having a spectacular year. She won an Oscar for her role in 12 Years a Slave and was recently signed to a major beauty campaign with Lancôme Paris. So, it really comes as no surprise that she would grace People's 50 Most Beautiful issue, which goes on sale this Friday.
Lupita told People that she used to equate beauty with what she saw on television, which was "Light skin and long, flowing straight hair," she said. "Subconsciously you begin to appreciate those things more than what you possess." Lupita added that her mother, Dorothy, always told her she was beautiful, "and I finally believed her at some point."
The 31-year old actress also told People that she was excited by the honor and called it "a major, major compliment." She's happy about all the little girls who will see her on the cover. Hopefully, those little girls of color, no, make that all little girls will also appreciate how beautiful they are.
Lupita Nyong'o is definitely setting new beauty standards.
More About Lupita Nyong'o
Image: Lupita Nyong'o on the cover of People's 50 Most Beautiful Issue
It's that time of the year when many of us are more conscious of hair growth on our bodies. You might have been able to get away with a little stubble under the arms because long sleeved tops covered the area, but now with the warmer weather you're more apt to be in tank tops and other sleeveless tops--so you really want to be bare.
One popular method for hair removal is waxing--definitely not my favorite. (I'd rather use a stinky depilatory.) There are some benefits to waxing, but there are precautions women of color need to take to prevent problems like ingrown hairs. Find more information in Hair Waxing Skin of Color.
- Leg Shaving Tips to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
- How to Get Rid of Dark Pores on the Legs
- Shaving Tips to Prevent "Strawberry Legs"